According to reports, school principals in KwaZulu-Natal have been negatively affected by a letter received from the Education Department. The department has shared that there is good in the decision that it has taken.
More than 600 school principals have been denied the permission to purchase textbooks for their schools by the KwaZulu-Natal Education Department.
Under the South African Schools Act, Section 21 (c) School-Governing Bodies (SGB) are allocated the functions “to purchase textbooks, educational materials or equipment” for their respective schools.
However, the head of the education department also has the ability to withdraw this function for a number of reasons. This was followed by school principals and SGBs being given notices that the department was withdrawing their “function 21 C”.
It is said a letter was sent to the affected schools, allowing them to lodge an appeal with the Provincial Education Department’s Minister, Kwazi Mshengu.
“While the individual schools’ appeal is under review, the HOD’s (head of department) decision to decline the confirmation of Section 21 function(s) for that school remains deferred.”
Teacher union, the National Professional Teachers Organisation of South Africa’s (Naptosa) has disapproved of this move from the Education Department:
In the interview, the union’s spokesperson, Thiron Moodley said:
We don’t understand the rationale behind it considering that no reasons were given to these school governing bodies. Why were these powers actually withdrawn?
As conflicting as this move may be for the teachers union, the Department explained that it is embarking on a centralisation strategy, to better manage costs. Moodley argued that this move will further de-stabilise schools in the province.